Get To Know No. 3 In New York's Class Of 2016 Rankings

Dan Cevette
Director, New York

Name: Daniel Bakst
High School: Poly Prep Country Day School
Hometown: New York, NY
Position: Shortstop
GPA: 3.8
Best Tool: Hitting

Top Three Schools: Stanford
Best Offer: Stanford

PBR sat down with the recent Stanford commit for an in-depth look inside his high-level game. Here's what we learned.

PBR: Tell us where you grew up. When you started playing baseball. Who were your influences.

Bakst: I grew up in New York City.  I started playing baseball when I was around two years old.  The main influences in my life are my mother, father and brother.  They are tremendous role models for me and they have been a part of my baseball in such an incredible way.  Other than my family, I really started playing baseball because of Derek Jeter.  The way he plays the game and how he carried himself on the field captivated me at an early age and I tried to learn from him as much as I could.  It isn't his incredible statistics and accomplishments that impress me as much as the way he plays the game.  As I've gotten older I have realized that his mental game is the best, period.  The way he deals with failure, pressure and fear is tremendous, and I have always observed his approach on t.v. or at ball games. 

PBR: Your a highly regarded 2016 making a name for yourself. Tell us about your game?

Bakst: I pride myself on focusing and excelling at all parts of the game.  Whether its defense, offense, base running or the intangibles that make one a great ball player, I constantly work on improving every facet of my game. 

PBR: Tell us about some of the national events you have attended. Tell us about the journey, and some of the high points.

Bakst: The major events that I have attended are the PG Jupiter tournament, the Junior National Showcase in Fort Myers and the Perfect Game Underclass All-American Games in San Diego.  These showcases were terrific because it allowed me to play against the best competition in the nation while having the chance to be scouted by tons of universities and professional teams.  The journey has been a thrill.  I am very privileged to be able to go out and play with and against the players I do, and it is always a high point when I can stand out in the field or step in the batters box.  The high points in my baseball career thus far do not revolve around any individual performances, but rather how lucky I've been to play with the teammates I've played with. 

PBR: You recently committed to Stanford. Tell us about the process and what made you pick Stanford.

Bakst:  I have wanted to attend and play baseball at Stanford since I was a little kid.  Going into this process, I always had Stanford at the top of the list.  I had the privilege of playing in front of and eventually talking with all the coaches at Stanford and it could not have been a more perfect fit.  Stanford always has a tremendous baseball program and they always set their goals on winning a national championship.

PBR: Being targeted by Stanford is truly an honor, not only high-level baseball but an Ivy-league education. Tell us about your academics and what they mean to you.

Bakst:  It has been a tremendous honor and a dream to be recruited by Stanford.  I have always gone to terrific schools my entire life and I've always been taught the value of education and how it plays an instrumental role in my development as a person. 

PBR: All big-time athletes train year round. What is your plan for this winter? Where will you train? With who?

Bakst:  For the past 2 years I have not taken any off time from my baseball work, but I felt it was necessary going into this offseason.  I am taking around a month an a half off from baseball related training and just focusing on my strength and my speed.  I do my strength training and speed training workouts at either my school or a gym down the road from my apartment.  I am putting an emphasis on my nutrition habits and making sure I get a lot of rest and recovery.  Once I get into my baseball workouts I do intense workouts, 2 hour sessions, devoted to my offensive and defensive skills with my trainer.  I also train at my school with my high school coach.  Coach Roventini has played an instrumental part in my baseball.  He is without a doubt one of the best, if not the best, high school coaches in America.  Whether its during a free period or staying late after practice, he always takes the time to hit me ground balls or throw batting practice.  I am incredibly grateful to be part of such a tremendous high school baseball program.  

PBR: Your ranked No. 3 in NY's Class of 2016 rankings, and No. 43 overall. Those are tremendous honors considering the size of NY, and our overall 20+ state coverage area. How does it feel?

Bakst: It feels great and its a tremendous honor.  However, I am not really concerned with any individual rankings.  I'm more just focusing on becoming a better baseball player and becoming a better teammate. 

PBR: Who is the best player you will face this season and why?

Bakst: The summer showcase circuit is where I always see the best competition.  I cannot name a particular player that I will certainly face this summer but it will come from the various high profile events I hope to attend.

PBR: Your a teammate to Nicholas Storz, a rising sophomore with serious up-side. Tell us about his game from your perspective.

Bakst: First off, Nick is a tremendous kid and teammate.  With all of his talent and ability he really shines as a teammate and as an individual.  Nick has a cannon of an arm and has the ability to dominate the game on the mound.  Every time he takes the mound I know he's going to give it his all.  He has a bull-dog mentality and this kid will go a long way in this game. 

PBR: Tell us something about yourself people don't know but might like to know.

Bakst: When I was younger I played a lot of tennis.  I was training and competing at a high level and I still love to play tennis.

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